London: William Heinemann, 1905. First trade edition. Publishers green cloth, pictorially stamped in gilt on front cover and lettered in gilt on spine, plain green end-papers, all edges stained green. Title-page very lightly stained on edge from titled tissue guard, spine slightly faded and a little rubbed at extremities. Neat early ink signature on half-title. Quarto (9 7/8 x 7 1/4 inches; 251 x 184 mm). Collating viii, 57, [1 blank], . Color frontispiece and fifty color plates mounted with titled tissue guards. A Very Good copy.
Around the middle of 1904 Ernest Brown & Phillips commissioned 50 color illustrations to Rip Van Winkle, and purchased the originals and all rights for 300 guineas. The publishing rights were then resold in a complicated deal to Heinemann, before the illustrations were exhibited at Brown and Phillips' Leicester Galleries. Most of the Rip drawings were sold at the exhibition, and by October they had all found purchasers. "It was the first work that greatly advanced Rackham's fame in the years immediately following his marriage... This lovely book decisively established Rackham as the leading decorative illustrator of the Edwardian period" (Hudson).
Latimore and Haskell 26. Riall 69/70. Gettings 176. (Item #3751)